With just one month to go until “It’s light’s out and away we go” in Melbourne, Australia, Formula 1 teams have been exciting us with their new car launches. This week we saw 6 out of the 10 teams show us their new cars and what prospects they have for the 2020 season.
Starting on Tuesday 11th February, we saw Scuderia Ferrari take to the stage (literally) in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The Prancing Horses put on a huge fanfare with an orchestra plus DJ, a choir and many gymnasts to show the grandeur of the team. Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri was on hand to share how he felt, saying “the ultimate goal which is victory”. Camilleri also mentioned how they were “very focused on the long term” and praised the two drivers, saying “we have Sebastian [Vettel] and Charles [Leclerc] who we count on”.
Team Principal, Mattia Binotto then took to the stage with Vettel and Leclerc and all three spoke about how excited they were for the 2020 season to begin. Binotto explained how their new car, the SF1000, has been 1 year in the making of development and design. He also told us that this year we would see the 1000th race for Ferrari, hence the name of the car. Vettel then mentioned how he believed Ferrari had written a piece of Italian history and is looking forward to being part of that adventure. Leclerc told us how he is very physically and will take this challenge on the same way mentally, but wants to improve as much as he can.
Despite the SF1000 looking very similar with the iconic red and splashes of black colour – Ferrari assured us that underneath, it is something very different.
(Image Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Twitter Page)
On Wednesday 12th February, we saw two teams in Red Bull Racing and Renault F1 Team, who gave us different approaches with their car reveals. Starting with Red Bull Racing, who took part in a private shakedown at Silverstone Circuit where driver, Max Verstappen, took the new RB16 out on track. The RB16 was also revealed with sharp and detailed photos on various social media platforms for everyone to see. This season, Red Bull opted out of teasing us with a ‘test livery’ and instead, to show they mean business, immediately showed us the iconic Red Bull livery with their new body changes.
After a few laps around the Silverstone track, Verstappen had his say on how he felt, saying although “it’s just a filming day, it’s good to get the car running to dissolve any minor issues before Barcelona”. Verstappen also explained how he felt very positive and hopes Red Bull can fight straight from Australia and beyond. Team Principal, Christian Horner, was also on hand to tell us that he wants both drivers to get as much run as they can to compile all the data to create a winning season.
(Image Credit: Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Twitter Page)
Next, we turn to Renault F1 Team who seem to have the most surprising car launch (so far) as they were able to host it without an actual car! Renault released, what they called, ‘glimpse images’ of what the R.S.20 will look like with a test livery. This baffled both fans and members of the media who felt a little cheated at not seeing the 2020 challenger.
To add to the confusion, Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal, then released a statement, trying to explain the car’s Houdini act, saying there was “little point in presenting a showcar altered to look like this season’s car as this leads to confusion”. As for the ‘real’ car, it’s built, undergoing final tests, being nicely hidden by the race team and leaving for Barcelona soon”.
Many weren’t too enamoured with Abiteboul’s words but nevertheless, we are all excited to see a physical car from Renault at Pre-Season Testing. Someone else who is excited is returning F1 driver, Esteban Ocon, who will have his first season with Renault, saying “It’s exciting to see design [of the R.S.20] but the next thing you want is to be behind the wheel”.
(Image Credit: Renault F1 Team Twitter Page)
Moving on to Thursday 13th February, we saw McLaren Formula 1 Team reveal their 2020 contender at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking. McLaren has always had a huge outside fanbase and enjoy inviting many of those fans to join them for the launch to show their team spirit. McLaren then took this fan interaction to the next level by allowing four lucky people to push the new car, the MCL35 out on to the stage for, not just the MCT to see, but for the world to see too due to the launch being live streamed on SkySportsF1 and on social media.
The MCL35 continued to use the same colour scheme as the previous season with the iconic papaya orange and bright blue but you see how they had been used differently. Much like Red Bull Racing, people were quick to moan how similar the car looked but Senior Writer Editor of F1, Lawrence Barretto, who joined F1 reporter Will Buxton, said how it “looks dramatically different”.
Both Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris were on hand to reveal the car along with the new race suits that they will be using. Sainz mentioned how he wanted to keep the momentum going forward from McLaren’s best season since 2012 and Norris aim to build on his rookie season.
(Image Credit: McLarenF1 Twitter Page)
Finally, we arrived at Friday 14th February, also known as Valentines Day, and we were definitely given some lovely treats. Much like we had on Wednesday, Friday would host two car launches, one from Mercedes-AMG F1 team and Alpha Tauri (formerly Toro Rosso). Starting with Mercedes, we had already been given a sneak peek of the W11’s new livery during a live conference with Mercedes new partner, Ineos. The W11 has it’s silver arrow colours of silver and seafoam green but also added much more red, along with keeping the symbolic red star in memory of ex-F1 driver, Nikki Lauda. Mercedes revealed that both drivers would be participating in the shakedown at Silverstone Circuit.
Everyone will be dying to see whether the Silver Arrows were able to move on to championship number 7 during the 2020 seaon. Team Principal, Toto Wolff explained what this year means to the team, saying how they have had a fantastic 10 years as a team. Wolff also mentioned how it was “a very important day when the machine comes together and its the start of a journey”. During the shakedown, Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas were asked how they were feeling for the season ahead. Hamilton told us he was feeling focused by training hard and Bottas shared how he was happy to have the 2019 season to build on, to try and win his first F1 championship.
(Image Credit: Mercedes-AMG F1 Twitter Page)
Last but not least, we saw Scuderia AlphaTauri F1 Team (formerly Toro Rosso) show us their complete new look as they change their name for the 2020 season. AlphaTauri also gave us something to behold, much like Ferrari, as they put on a whole fashion show at the reveal at Hangar-7 in Austria. The new colours for the team consist of white and navy blue, which they took full advantage of as these are the colours for the 2020 livery and the race suits of drivers, Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly.
Kvyat announced that he would be taking the new AT01 around the track in Misano on Saturday 15th Febraury. Kvyat also mentioned how he felt the new look was very elegant and he felt good coming into this seaon. Gasly explained how he wants many more podiums like the two that came for the team last year. Franz Tost, Team Prinipal, was on hand to share his optimism after good results in the wind tunnel. Tost mentioned how he feels the reliability in Honda is promising and feels the relationship they have with Red Bull is important.
(Image Credit: Scuderia AlphaTauri Twitter Page)
Next week we will see Racing Point, Haas, Alfa Romeo and Williams share their car reveals and what aspirations they have in their teams for the upcoming season. Check back with Overtake Motorsport at the end of next week for the second lot of F1 car launches and a brief overview of Pre-Season Testing in Barcelona.
Feature Image Credit: Formula 1 Official Twitter Page